The construction site of a plant for Huaxin Cement Narayani Pvt Ltd in Talti in Dhading district. Photo: Sarita Shrestha/Republica
DHADING, July 22: A sub-committee formed by Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament has concluded that Huaxin Cement Narayani Pvt Ltd, which is building its plant at Talti in Benighat Rorang Rural Municipality Ward 2, is not abiding by terms and conditions laid out by the project’s Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report.
Members of the sub-committee had made a field visit of the plant site two months ago following complaints that the company was flouting EIA report and also to settle dispute over access road to the plant site between two rural municipalities. Also, locals had complained that the modality of distributing royalty in affected areas is flawed.
After the field visit, the sub-committee concluded in its report that the company had taken over Malekhu River, flouting rules prescribed in the EIA report.
Locals say that though parts of Benighat Rorang and Gajuri rural municipalities of Dhadhing, and Manahari rural municipalities of Makwanpur are affected by the plant, the company has included only one place as the affected area.
Beighat and Gajuri rural municipalities are at odds over the plant being set up by the company. Locals of Gajuri allege that the factory constructed access road to the plant site by exploiting the nature.
“The 11-kilometer access road to the plant side has been built by encroaching upon the river,” lawmaker Lekhraj Bhatta, the coordinator of the sub-committee, who participated in the field visit, said. “We found that the company mined sand and stones by digging up to six meters in the river and used the materials to build the access road.”
The sub-committee also noted that haphazard construction of access road has affected irrigation canals used by local villagers.
“After the field visit, we have arrived at the conclusion that all three rural municipalities will be affected by the plant. All of them should get royalty from the company,” Bhatta added.
According to Bhatta, they found that a child had died after falling into a pit dug by an excavator and a labor has lost life in the plant site. “Similarly, a local school is affected by the noise produced by machines at the construction site. But the company has neglected the issue so far,” the sub-committee states in its report.
The sub-committee has also smelt a rat on a deal to lease out 50,000 ropani of land to the company for just Rs 100,000 per ropani per year. Benighat Rorang Rural Municipality has signed an agreement to lease 50,000 ropani of land to the company.
The company started work at the plant site four months ago. Huaxin Cement Narayani, which is jointly promoted by Nepali and Chinese investors, is investing Rs 15 billion in the cement factory. Department of Mines and Geology has already provided limestone mine to the company.
Meanwhile, Investment Board Nepal (IBN) is also studying whether the company has flouted agreement signed with it. IBN is facilitating the project which is jointly promoted by Vaidya Group of Nepal and Huaxin Central Asia Investment Company Limited. Huaxin holds 80 percent of shares in the company, while Vaidya Group owns the remaining 20 percent.